• Featured,  Form

    Varied in form

    It was a home economics textbook that led Chicago-based fashion designer Masha Titievsky to discover the career opportunities in the field. Then, a high school student with an interest in figure drawing—and a path carved in business—she set out to merge the two tracks; later studying fashion and entrepreneurship at institutions like Parsons School of Design in New York City, Bocconi University in Milan, and Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business. Titievsky’s journey in the formation of her current label, VARYFORM, is rich in research. An artist from the start, her studies and interest in art history and the artistic process have continually influenced her crafted garments and current…

  • Form,  Relish

    Spatialized success

    For the design-make architecture studio of Synecdoche Design Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan, design is a key ingredient that can be used to spatialize a business model, according to Principal Architect Lisa Sauve, AIA, NCARB, ASID, IIDA. The studio was recently recognized for its skills in the area—this concept of giving spatial form or consideration of in space relations—with an award for best low-budget project at the 2019 AIA Michigan Honor Awards Ceremony in June for its transformation of Thrive Juicery in Ann Arbor. The design of the approximately 1,800-square-foot interior was informed by the juicery’s core values—health and wellness—around which Synecdoche rotated a variety of tools for creating custom…

  • Form

    Placemaking

    A full-service architectural practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan approaches sustainability through a modernist lens. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based architectural and planning—and recently, interior design—firm of Mathison|Mathison Architects has become known for its creation of elevated-modern, high-profile homes throughout the United States. Yet, Evan Mathison, co-founding principal architect, noted there are some who may not realize the firm’s breadth of award-winning commercial projects in its portfolio that highlight an affinity for sustainable and experiential design solutions. From sculptural public pavilions that interpret the concept of shelter, to renovations fusing historic design with modern sustainability; many Mathison|Mathison Architects, or MMA, projects create meaningful experiences among space, structure, and user—and ameliorate the natural…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    A royal renovation

    In Evanston, Illinois—a city defined by its tree-lined sidewalks and collection of homes—architecture is a diverse language. Beaux-Arts, Prairie, Italianate, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and Queen Anne are dialects spoken across intersections and around block corners, passing down their stories through iconic massing, decorative ornamentation, gables, brick and stone, gently sloped rooflines, and the occasional tower or turret. In the renovation of this particular Queen Anne residence, a style known for its irregular roof shapes, bay windows, dramatic massing, and multiple gables and dormers, the homeowners envisioned a design respectful of the heritage in its walls and wove in dynamic elements reflective of their young family lifestyle. Once the home…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    Revived colonial

    “When you work in older homes, whether [people] are going to keep the same essence or want to be a little avant-garde—do something transitional or modern on the inside, but maintain the outside— there is stuff going on in that house from the past. Most people like to find out what is going on, and we kind of disassemble and reassemble—it is a great experience,” said Michael Menn, AIA, CGR, CAPS, CGP, principal architect at Michael Menn Ltd. in Northbrook, Illinois. Michael Menn Ltd. is an architectural and planning firm providing design-and-build services to clients throughout Chicago’s North Shore and the greater Phoenix, Arizona areas. The private practice was initially…

  • Featured,  Form

    Shingle-style adaptive

    When creating a new residence, adaptability is a valuable term during each stage of the process, especially for the architect, whose task is to deliver a home balancing practical and aesthetic goals. Sometimes a difficult task, achieving this ideal balance can also be highly memorable and, in the case of the team of designers at Sears Architects, something that is reflected on during other projects for years to come. Sears Architects, an architectural and planning firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the design team behind a 2013 residential project on the city’s eastern side that highlighted the firm’s affinity for producing adaptable designs—an element that continues to distinguish it in…

  • Featured,  Form

    Illuminating design

    For more than 50 years, the Kendall Lighting Center—a member of the Kendall Group—has supplied communities in northern Indiana and West Michigan with lighting products and fixtures featuring the latest in industry trends and technologies. Recently, the lighting center’s first showroom location in Grand Rapids, Michigan was joined by four additional showroom locations to create an expanded source for lighting collections and design inspiration. The Kendall Group began as Kendall Electric in the early 1970s, later growing to include six divisions—including the Kendall Lighting Center—that position it as a wholesale supplier serving the electrical, lighting, automation, and steam industries, among others. Its stance in industrial variety translates to the Kendall…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Textured classics

    Like many other facets of art and design, fashion provides a highly sensory method of self-expression and creativity, but it stands apart in its proximity to the user. As designs that encompass the body, garments hold a unique responsibility for their users, and as Chicago-based fashion designer Bhavana Jain knows, balancing the responsibility of designing for a specific customer while staying true to design principles can be a challenging—yet exciting—effort. “When I started in design school, I actually had ideas of designing [garments] that are commonly worn in India, and I really was enamored with the color, the fabrics, and the design features,” Jain said. “As I went further along,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Poetic structures

    Detroit has been home to artists in their many forms—designers, architects, sculptors, and fashion creatives, among others—who have set roots in the city as a space for personal and professional practice; often drawn to its rich industrial and design history as well as its current fabrication abilities. Its resources for the arts—such as Detroit Institute of Arts, College for Creative Studies, and Cranbrook Academy of Art—also draw national and international attention as centers for artistic preservation, exploration, and experimentation. In 2015, internationally-acclaimed artist and designer Nina Cho made Detroit the base for her professional practice, Nina Cho LLC, and personal studio; going on to exhibit at the Robert Adler Gallery…